April 8th 2016
Today, my baby turns 21.
8th April 1995 was a Saturday. I left the girlfriend’s house with the intention of buying my first mountain bike – a Marin Pine Mountain.
At the dealer (Channels, just outside Chelmsford, Essex) the girlfriend suddenly announced she wanted a bike too. I had to split my budget, and bought myself this Palisades Trail.
Over the years that followed I’d be out on it almost every weekend. Together we explored National Parks, forest trails, bridleways and byways, canal towpaths and decommissioned railway lines all over south east England.
During those years I also made many, many upgrades. Until eventually the bike was almost unrecognisable. Then one evening, I thought about restoring it to how it once was.
Unlike the bikes I usually restore, this one isn’t restored to catalogue spec – but to how I had it back in the day (around 1996/97).
The girlfriend is long gone, as is Channels. But the Marin remains. It’s been a constant companion, even coming with me to Australia. Its restoration has been slow, but I wasn’t in a hurry.
And while some may question the time, effort and expense of restoring a bike that isn’t anything special, it’s special to me – and that’s what matters.
Happy birthday buddy!